Maa Community Elders Lift Curse Against Girls Who Defy FGM

Maa community elders have agreed to lift the curse pronounced on girls who refuse to be mutilated.

The elders over the weekend held a meeting to cleanse and lift the curse in what will be seen as the biggest achievement to date in the war against female genital mutilation in Kenya.

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The elders came from Laikipia, Kajiado, and Samburu converged at Chumvi grounds in Laikipia North sub-county where they performed rituals to bless the girls.

Church leaders were also present to say some prayers for the girls.

More than 200 girls had fled their homes for fear of the curse. They were, however, all invited back and reunited with their families who agreed to take them back.

An elder from Kajiado, Lenyen Oletipisi, said that the Maa community elders agreed to lift the curse after realizing that men against it stopped marrying girls who had gone through FGM.

He said elders from Kajiado county had agreed to preach against the harmful cultural and inhumane practice.

Another elder from Kajiado added that the fight against FGM should be all-inclusive.

Elder Jonathan Swakei said that through the campaign, they identify the circumcisers whom they are convincing to shun the practice.

Swakei revealed that they are, however, facing resistance from some communities and leaders.

Samburu people were identified as still holding on to the retrogressive culture.

Elders from the region were called upon to loosen their grip and involve local leaders to help them stop the act.

“FGM should stop even in Samburu since all the Maa people are now shying away from the act,” the elders said.

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Political leaders from the communities have also been involved in the fight against female genital mutilation.

Magundu East MCA Daniel Nyeusi, who is also the deputy speaker for Laikipia county assembly, called upon all Maa communities, whom he said 5 percent of them practice FGM daily, to shun the harmful cultural practice and look for alternative rites of passage.

“We will speak against FGM even in public forums without the fear of losing political grip,” he said.

Mukogondo Girls Empowerment Program Founder Josphine Ndirias said the elders made a decision to lift the curse after they were taken through a session on effects of FGM on lives of women.

“Men don’t witness how the cut is done and its effects but we enlightened through a video that changed their mind, they are now undoing the curse with a blessing,” she said.